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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Bruce Cockburn - If I had a Rocket Launcher

Bruce Cockburn - one of the kings of the protest song. This is a classic. I am interested to hear any theological reflections on the lyrics.

7 comments:

simon said...

Extraordinary! Though I've seen him a couple of times live, I am always in awe at the dexterity and tenderness of his guitar playing.

That's one of my favourite songs of all time because for me it articulates that desperate, impotent anger that we often feel when injustice is perpetrated by forces far stronger than us.

When we were tackling Psalm 137 in an evening service, i used this song as example of how God's people might put into the words the fury they feel at what's happening in our world today.

It wasn't very popular, a number of people objecting to the term 'son of a bitch' being used in church!

We don't handle raw emotion very well in our churches. I think this song expresses it. But it does so in a tightly composed riff, a very precisely played guitar part and carefully and thoughtfully constructed lyric. It's raw emotion filtered through a mind trained to think God's thoughts after him.

Brian Walsh probably has some pretty articulate things to say about Cockburn and this song because he's a bug fan.

Robin Parry said...

Simon

That is such a helpful comment. Thanks so much. It helped me clarify my own reaction to the song.

Robin

eclecticchristian said...

Hi Robin,

As a huge Cockburn fan (I own 19 of his albums) I do have a bit of insight into this song.

But it is always better to know what the artist himself thinks, so here is a link to everything he has ever been known to have said publicly about the song.

http://cockburnproject.net/songs&music/iiharl.html

By the way, couple of other lesser known things about Cockburn. God is said to be particularly fond of him in the book, "The Shack."

Bono of U2 fame, credits Bruce Cockburn as being a sort of Pastor figure to him. (Very loose paraphrase).

Michael Bell

David Reimer said...

And now for an unhelpful comment ... did I ever tell you about the time when I didn't meet Bruce Cockburn in the back room at Ring Music, just off Spadina, back in 1984? He was, in fact, clutching a hot-off-the-press (vinyl in those days) copy of Stealing Fire (the album that "If I had a rocket launcher" first appeared on) in his hands.

No?

Where's a pint when you need one?!

Next time! ;)

Robin Parry said...

David

you are a king-dude! You saw the great BC! I'm sure he'd have stopped for a chat if he'd seen you.

Robin

Bob said...

good guitar...bad theology
we need more nonviolence responses, not more rocket launchers

JesusWasAVegetarian said...

@ "closed minded Bob" - read the comments Bruce himself made about the song (see URL above). Bruce is ANYTHING but a violent person, nor does he promote violent responses.

Some "Christian" types are so quick to jump down someone's throat on outward appearances or snap judgements.

Get past your Biblical catch phrases and look more deeply at the human condition!